Art and Resistance in Germany
In light of the recent rise of right-wing populism in numerous political contexts and in the face of resurgent nationalism, racism, misogyny, homophobia, and demagoguery, this book investigates how historical and contemporary cultural producers have sought to resist, confront, confound, mock, or call out situations of political oppression in Germany, a country which has seen a dramatic range of political extremes during the past century.
While the current turn to nationalist populism is global, it is perhaps most disturbing in Germany, given its history with its stormy first democracy in the interwar Weimar Republic; its infamous National Socialist (Nazi) period of the 1930s and 1940s; and its split Cold-War existence, with Marxist-Leninist Totalitarianism in the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany's barely-hidden ties to the Nazi past.
Equally important, Germans have long considered art and culture critical to constructions of national identity, which meant that they were frequently implicated in political action. This book therefore examines a range of work by artists from the early twentieth century to the present, work created in an array of contexts and media that demonstrates a wide range of possible resistance.
“The content of the individual essays, and the remarkably strong apparatus of bibliographic documentation should render Art and Resistance a solid choice for libraries serving graduate-level programs in history, visual arts, political science, and German studies.” —ARLIS/NA
“Art and Resistance in Germany is an excellent volume that addresses the complex question of art's power to resist political, economic, and social forms of domination. Taking us from the Weimar Republic to today, the essays complement each other as an exploration of the variety of definitions of resistance as it applies to culture. In the process, the authors also analyze canonical German artists and artworks anew as well as introduce us to entirely innovative works of art. From Grosz and Dix through Wilms and Hallmann's Topography of Terror, the book is a fascinating intervention into the analysis of art and politics that has continued relevancy and increased urgency today.” —Paul B. Jaskot, Professor of Art History, Duke University, USA
“This collection of originally researched essays sheds new light on art in and as resistance across Germany's long twentieth century, providing a critical vocabulary for the analysis of art as politics and politics as artistic expression from the Weimar and Nazi periods to contemporary movements against right-wing nationalism. This volume will be indispensable in understanding Germany's particular place in the landscape of artistic resistance, from everyday registers of artistic action to the high art of leading sculptors and painters, graphic and collage artists, filmmakers and architects.” —Kathleen Canning, Dean of the School of Humanities, Rice University, USA